Improvements in health ‘erratic’ in eastern Europe

Reviewing population health across 53 countries over the past four decades, researchers based in The Netherlands and the UK said the former Communist bloc experienced stagnation and even drops in life expectancy.

In EU countries, reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease among older people has contributed to an overall longer life span and there have been benefits in tobacco control, infection prevention and road safety.

But in eastern Europe, failure to grow economies and implement effective health policies, followed by “disruptive